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Upper School Science

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The Waterford Science Program develops in each student: a.) A foundation in current human understanding of the fundamental physical and natural sciences underpinned by knowledge of the historical context of scientific advancement. b.) A capacity to evaluate arguments based on evidence, reach appropriate conclusions and pose scientific questions. c.)The skills of a scientist: to make observations, to draw on established knowledge, to organize effort in a logical manner, to collect and process data, to choose and safely use appropriate scientific tools, and to communicate within the global community of scientists. d.) The ability, and sense of responsibility, to apply science knowledge, skills, and thinking in the service of expanding human knowledge and maintaining the health of our planet. e.) An appreciation of the beauty of our universe and the uniquely human endeavor of science.

Science IX: Biology
​Class IX Biology serves as a rigorous investigation into the essentials of living matter. General objectives include: understanding the basics of how life is organized and sustained, developing laboratory and field skills for biological study, gaining an appreciation for the diversity of life, and developing a knowledge of biology that will inspire and fuel future study in the natural sciences.

Science X: Chemistry Honors
​This course offers a rigorous exposure to the principles and mathematics of college-preparatory chemistry. The topics we study--which include atomic structure, nuclear reactions, mole theory, phase change, gas laws, quantum theory, periodicity, chemical bonding, organic chemistry, chemical kinetics (rates and mechanisms), thermodynamics, equilibriums, acid-base theory, and redox reactions--are imbedded in the history of science from the French Revolution to the modern era. This class incorporates a laboratory period once a week, which includes 30 minutes of the lunch hour. A fluid understanding of Algebra II is a must for success in this course. This class is highly encouraged as a pre-requisite for Advanced Placement Chemistry.

Science X: Chemistry Standard
​This course offers an introduction to the principles and mathematics of college-preparatory chemistry. The topics we study--which include atomic structure, nuclear reactions, mole theory, phase change, gas laws, quantum theory, periodicity, chemical bonding, organic chemistry, chemical kinetics (rates and mechanisms), thermodynamics, equilibriums, acid-base theory, and redox reactions--are imbedded in the history of science from the French Revolution to the modern era. This class incorporates a laboratory period once a week, which includes 30 minutes of the lunch hour. While the conceptual rigor of this course often matches that of the Honors course, the mathematical and computational demands are not as great.

Science XI: Physics
​This introductory course emphasizes both the basic concepts of physics and the processes by which we study the physical world. Major areas covered are mechanics, wave theory, including sound and light, optics, electricity, magnetism and relativity. Labs and demonstrations are stressed, so that students experience physics. Pre-requisite is Advanced Algebra. This course can be followed by AP Physics (if calculus skills are advanced) and covers the material in the SAT II.

Science: AP Biology
​This course is equivalent to a rigorous college biology course for majors. It covers the equivalent of two semesters of college biology. The course work is highly intensive and requires a great deal of outside work on the part of the student. The course is divided into four parts: molecular and cell biology, genetics and evolution, plant biology and animal biology. It is assumed that all students will take the AP exam in May.

Science: AP Chemistry
​This course is equivalent to a year of Freshman college chemistry. Some of the topics covered throughout the year include stoichiometry, periodicity, atomic theory, quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular bonding, and the behavior of gases, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. A solid background in mathematics and chemistry are crucial pre-requisites for AP Chemistry. All students are expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May.

Science: AP Physics C
​This class is an in-depth study of classical Newtonian mechanics using math skills up to and including calculus. Students are prepared to take the C level exam in mechanics. As time permits, the class will branch into Electricity and Magnetism. Students are required to have completed one year of physics and one year of calculus AB as prerequisites for this very challenging course.

Science: Marine Biology
​This one-term course provides an introductory exploration of the unique community of organisms that inhabit salt water environments. Beginning with a summary of the physical conditions which influence biological systems in the marine realm, the course includes discussions on the physiology, ecology, biogeography, and life history of marine organisms throughout the world's oceans. We consider a variety of ecosystems including, mangroves, salt marshes, beaches, rocky inter-tidal, coral reef, pelagic and deep sea environments. This course is a natural extension of Waterford's Class IX Biology, extending the general principles of biological systems into a specific inquiry into a unique environment.

Science: Molecular Biology
​This lab-based elective employs the techniques currently used to study the scientific principles (and their ethical ramifications) in the emerging field of molecular genetics and genomics. Dual emphasis is placed on the theoretical foundations of this "modern biology" as well as the practical problem-solving skills associated with such state-of-the-art biotechnologies as gel electrophoresis, restriction analysis, PCR, and recombinant DNA technology. As prerequisites, it is expected that students have completed one year of biology and one year of chemistry.

Science: Pharmacology
​Pharmacology is the branch of medicine concerned with the uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs.From cancer drugs to antibiotics, we can better understand therapeutics by understanding their molecular properties. The course starts with an overview of organic chemistry, which is necessary for understanding drug structure and function. Next, we examine pharmacodynamics, describing how drugs affect the body to exert their therapeutic (and sometimes toxic) effects. Lastly, we will examine pharmacokinetics, which describes the effect the body has on the drug--absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Throughout the course, we will use case studies of specific drugs as examples of the pharmacologic principles we are studying.

Science: Robotics Lab
​In robotics lab students design and build remote-controlled and autonomous robots that can carry out interesting functions. In the process of designing and building robotic systems students experience the engineering process, learn how to safely use a wide variety of tools, learn how to troubleshoot, and gain experience in competently employing iterative design/build processes. During the winter term students apply engineering skills to solving challenges related to the FIRST Robotics competition.

Science: Utah and the Global Biosphere
Utah offers a unique collection of habitats, from red rock canyons of the Colorado Plateau to marshes of the Great Salt Lake to lush canyons of the Wasatch Range. Through this course students will come to know the geological history of Utah, the ecosystems of our state and how they relate to global abiotic systems. We closely investigate the diversity of land and life forms found along the Wasatch Front. Looking at our region through an ecological perspective, students gain knowledge about Utah and about how its systems compare and contrast to ecosystems selected from the earth's grand diversity. Students will take several field trips to examine local habitats including Dimple Dell Park, Great Salt Lake, Jordan River, and the Cottonwood Canyons. The course is team-taught by Science Department instructors.

Science: Vertebrate Zoology
​Vertebrate zoology is offered for those Upper School students who want a bit more animal biology before they graduate. All vertebrate classes will be taught/viewed/worshiped or consumed and we will emphasize evolutionary relationships among all the groups. The course will have an avian and reptile bias and there will be ample time to look for both Utah migrants and residents. I should mention that virtually no college biology department offers any sort of Victorian zoology classes anymore, so this may be your only shot. I care where the bunnies live.